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GES Introduce Tug of War and Pillow Fight in Basic and Second cycle Schools

Ghana Education Service News Today

GES Introduce Tug of War and Pillow Fight in Basic and Second cycle Schools; About Pillow Fight/ Tug of War, How it Started and the Rules of the Game,

Pillow Fight Rules

Rules for Tug of War

The Ghana Education Service has now introduced Tug of War and Pillow fight as an official Sport in Basic and Senior High Schools in the Country.

On 2nd May, 2023, the Ghana Tug of War/ Pillow Fight Federation wrote a letter to the Director General of Ghana Education Service (GES) requesting  Approval of the Sports.

In a letter sighted by seekernewsgh dated 18th May, 2023 the GES has approved the sports and it’s now official sports in schools.

GES Release


Reference is made to your letter dated 2nd May, 2023 to the Director-General, Ghana
Education Service, requesting official permission to introduce the sports of Tug of War
and Pillow Fight at the Pre-Tertiary Education level, I write to inform you that approval
has been granted to your Federation in that direction.

We therefore entreat you to liaise with the PE & Sports Unit to enable you plan and
organize how to roll out programmes and activities for the introduction of the two (2)
sports to unearth, nurture young talents and encourage them to participate in our
Districts and Schools without disrupting the teaching and learning periods.

Accordingly, Management is by this letter requesting Regional Directors to officially
inform Metro, Municipal and District Directors and Heads of Second Cycle Institutions
that approval has been granted for the introduction of Tug of War and Pillow Fight in
our schools.

It is the expectation of Management that the Federation will strictly adhere to the
directives to ensure smooth and continuous running of the sports in our schools

About the Tug of War and Pillow Fight Sport

Pillow Fight

Pillow fighting has now become a part of the world of professional sport.

How and When it Started

On 29 January 2022, the new combat sport moved out of the bedroom and into the boxing ring when “Pound Down” streamed live from Miami, Florida, USA, becoming the first-ever professional Pillow Fighting Championship (PFC) and earning the record title for the first pay-per-view pillow fight.

Sixteen men and eight women, who have backgrounds in mixed martial arts and boxing, took part in the first edition of the showdown, which was available to watch for $12.99 (£11.27) on Fite.TV.

Pro MMA fighter Istela Nunes from Brazil was crowned the winner in the women’s finals after she defeated America’s Kendahl Voelker.

The winner of the men’s final was American MMA fighter Hauley Tillman, who took down UFC veteran Marcus Brimage – the notorious name who went head-to-head with Connor McGregor in Stockholm, Sweden back in 2013.

The first ever PFC winners earned a title belt and a $5,000 cash prize.

People don’t respect pillow fight

On 17 June 2022, the Seminole Hard Rock stadium in Hollywood, Florida, USA, hosted the PFC World Title Fight, where all four fighters met once again for a rematch.

“A lot of people don’t respect pillow fighting but once they get in there with a fighter like me, they’re going to automatically respect it.” – Hauley Tillman

“This means a lot to me. This is like a real UFC championship,” Tillman continued.

PFC is trying to turn pillow fighting into a professional sport – but unlike MMA, “anyone can compete, and anyone can win”.

Described by CEO Steve Williams as “hardcore swinging with specialized pillows”, Pillow Fight Championship aims to bring spectators the adrenaline rush of a combat sport without any of the blood and violence.

“I can come at you as hard as I possibly can. It’s going to hurt, but you’re going to be OK,” said Steve.

“You couldn’t do that with anything on earth, I think. Maybe a feather and pillows are made out of feathers.”

But don’t expect to see any plumes flying during PFC matches.

Pillow types

Competitors use specially designed pillows made of foam rather than down. The pillows have a nylon casing with durable handles to allow for fast and hard-hitting movements.

“We started out with a bedroom pillow and that was boring, so we added straps. That was pretty cool; a little bit more show,” said Steve.

“Then we added the ripstop nylon which added a lot of flash and helped the sound because a bedroom pillow won’t really make any noise when it hits but the ripstop nylon combat pillows make a loud ‘POP'”. – Steve Williams

Rules of Pillow Fight

The rules of the sport involve two competitors standing six feet apart and trying to hit their opponent over the head as many times as possible.

Fighters must swing the pillow single-handedly and are only allowed to raise their hand up as high as their neck to block an incoming “pillow punch”.

Because flinging a bulky cushion becomes increasingly difficult after four minutes, even for experienced MMA pros, PFC fights are only comprised of three 90-second rounds.

“The rules are very simple: Throw the pillow at 180 degrees and that’s one point. If you do 360 degrees, it’s harder and you have to time it. There’s more time for the person to defend himself, so that’s two points,” said PFC referee Yuri Villefort.

“If there’s a showmanship moment during the fight, I can give one point for that person. And then if you hit and somehow the person puts a hand or a foot on the floor, it’s four points.” – Yuri Villefort

Because of its participants’ roots in combat sports like MMA and jujitsu, pillow fighting often uses similar skills.

For many, training includes plenty of cardio, weights and pillow swinging.

Sport for everyone

Whether fighters choose to attack their opponents with finesse or knock them to the ground, using pillows as fists means they get to leave the ring with their teeth.

But how did we get from a childhood game between friends to a professional combat sport?

“It sounded like a good business idea,” said Steve.

“It’s the one sport in the world that everybody’s done. The world needs a pillow fight.” – Steve Williams

Steve and his friend Mark Keys thought it was a crazy, yet intriguing idea.

Creating the Rules

They worked on developing their pillow fight league for about four years, with the better part of it spent on creating the rules and designing the pillow.

The two then began attending small events and tagging along at other MMA fights.

It wasn’t long before professional fighters and the public alike became fascinated by the uniqueness and intensity of the competition.

Supporters say the growth of PFC has rapidly exploded and that they expect the newfound sport to take over the world.

“Honestly, at first it was kind of like ‘uh, a pillow fight’ but then you see most of the fighters are MMA fighters,” said PFC ring girl Florence Caroline Arosteguy.

“They’re people that actually train and you see they’re sweating and they’re going through it just like a real fighter. There’s just not as much pain inflicted.” – Florence Caroline Arosteguy

Another appeal to PFC is that unlike MMA, the sport is all inclusive.

Children included

Because pillow fights don’t cause substantial bodily harm, PFC has opened its doors to multiple crowds, including children.

Isaiah Triana, one of PFC’s youngest fighters, has been involved in MMA since he was under three years old.

But he is especially drawn to PFC, which he has been participating in for the past year.

“You do get hand to face but it doesn’t hurt as much. That’s what I love,” said Isaiah.

“Whoever wants it, they can come get it. They can come get this spinning pillow pop.” – Isaiah Triana

Not to mention, other combat sports set high pricing for pay-per-view events that only stream one show while the audience has an opportunity to see 14 family-friendly events with PFC.

“This is getting really, really big,” said Tillman.

“Honestly, I make more money pillow fighting than in a regular fight.”

PFC may still be in its early days, but it seems to be on an upward trajectory.

It serves as the perfect solution for those who want to engage in contact sports but think of UFC or MMA as too intimidating or brutal.

PFC’s playful tone and initial success mean that the world may soon see this fun children’s pastime evolve into a multi-million-dollar match. Source

About Tug of War

Object of the Game

Most Tug of War matches are completed in a best of three format, and the objective is to beat the competition and win the match by winning at least two of the three pulls in the match. Within each pull, the objective is to win by pulling the opposition and the opposition’s 4m marker towards the centre so that the mark passes the centre line, resulting in a win. It is not possible to tie a Tug of War match.

Players & Equipment

Each Tug of War team consists of 8 members, all of whom cooperate to pull the rope. Despite looking like quite a simple sport, there is some technicality to it, with team members utilising a rhythm to help pull the rope in an effective way. This is done with the help of a ‘driver’, who is not a member of the team but is in effect like a coach and they give orders of when to pull and when to rest from the sidelines.

The rope is the most important piece of equipment and this should be approximately 11 cm in circumference and should be at least 33.5m long with plain, whipped ends. Other pieces of equipment that participants may use include specialist boots, back, elbow and knee supports as well as belts to support the back.


In Tug of War, there is no scoring as such like you may see in other team games such as American Football or Soccer. However, because teams are pitted against each other usually in a best of three match, there is a form of scoring, in that the winner of the match must win two out the three pulls to win the match.

Winning the Game

Each team has a mark on their end of the rope 4m from the centre. The team who is pulled by the opposition towards the centre whose mark goes over the centre line is declared the loser. With matches often being the best of three, it is the that successfully wins two out of three pulls that is declared the winner.

Rules of Tug of War

Each team in a Tug of War competition consists of eight people.
There are various weight classifications in Tug of War, and the mass of the eight people combined must not weigh more than that determined by the category that they are placed in.
The rope used should be of a circumference of approximately 11 cm and should be marked in the middle with a centre line as well as two marks that should be placed 4m from the centre line.
At the start of the pull, the centre line of the rope should be immediately above line marked on the ground.

Both teams pull the rope, the winner being the team who manage to pull the mark on the rope closest to their opponents over the centre line.
The rope must be pulled underarm and nobody’s elbow must go below the knee, otherwise a foul will be called.
Matches are often a best of three pull, the winner winning two out of the three pulls.



Peter N. Djangmah is a multifaceted individual with a passion for education, entrepreneurship, and blogging. With a firm belief in the power of digital education and science, I am affectionately known as the Private Minister of Information. Connect with me

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